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The Flying Imams Win
The case of the flying imams who were removed in November 2006 from a USAirways flight in Minneapolis for questioning by law enforcement authorities concluded in the Minnesota federal district court before Judge Ann Montgomery. The parties arrived at a settlement of the case on October 20 in a court-supervised conference. The amounts paid by the defendants remain confidential.
The case drew national attention--including that of Congress, which passed a law protecting private citizens who report suspicious activity and law enforcement authorities who act in good faith on the information. The imams had named USAirways passengers who raised concerns about their behavior as John Doe defendants in their original complaint, but later dropped the passengers.
Represented by an attorney from the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the imams went forward with federal civil rights and state law claims against USAirways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) police officers and FBI special agents involved in their removal from the flight and their questioning. This past July, Judge Montgomery denied the motions of the law enforcement defendants for dismissal on the ground of qualified immunity.
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